TiVo Goes Portable
TiVo ToGo is a new feature that will be available on new series2 TiVo units that have software revision 7.1 or greater. It allows you to send your TiVo recordings to a computer, mobile device or even to burn them onto a DVD. Some industrious users have found ways to unlock the .tivo files that are produced through TiVo ToGo. Unlocked .tivo files can be converted to any number of formats for illegitimate use including mpeg4 or Divx to be distributed freely or used in handhelds.
TiVo ToGo utilizes copy protection methods with its MAK key. This is the Media Access Key that is required on your desktop software to ensure you're not distributing your TiVo files across the internet. Personal use of TiVo ToGo is fully legal, protected under the Supreme Court ruling "Sony Corp of America Vs Universal City Studios, INC" even though it has the television broadcasting business up in arms and ready to renew the fight against timeshifting.
The legitimate method of using TiVo ToGo involves only sending your tivo file to those devices that run the desktop software. As long as the instance of the desktop software that you're running .tivo files on has a MAK number that matches the MAK created by your TiVo unit, you're good to go. Watching shows on your computer may not seem like a great idea but you can burn them to DVD or watch them on certain mobile computing devices. The playback device can include portable Windows devices like a Palm top computer. Imagine being able to take your TiVo'ed programming with you on the plane to watch in flight.
The system doesn't work for Apple computers. Sorry Mac fans. You'll be happy to know, however, that there are plans in the works for TiVo to send their files directly to the iPod Video for playback. TiVo ToGo will soon include playback on your iPod Video and PlayStation Portable. Despite legal threats from the likes of ABC (Disney) and NBC the TiVo - iPod should be released by TiVo sometime in '06. Part of TiVo's new proposed updates to their portable recorded files will include porting to and synching with the Sony's PSP as well as Apple's iPod Video.
For the time being there are illegitimate means of accomplishing this. There are people who have been porting their TiVo recordings to PSP iPod Video for some time now. The .tivo file is just Mpeg2; it needs to be unlocked and converted to Mpeg4.
There are helpful utilities to help you directly port your .tivo files to the correct format to be viewed in the PSP. PSP Video 9 is an easy and effective way to convert your .tivo files directly to PSP format. PSP Video 9 is a video conversion management application that is free, and you use at your own risk. This clever app will give you complete PSP-casting functionality before TiVo gives it away. It'll allow you to convert and copy video to your PSP through a synch using BitTorrent or RSS.